A symposium sponsored jointly by associations of women in architecture in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco last January set a precedent for the proposed annual event which seeks to provide a statewide forum for issues affecting women in architecture.

Discussion focused on the potential of a future statewide organization for these groups. Proposed roles for such an association included: a professional support network to increase access to existing opportunities and create new ones; a communication network to disseminate information, thereby expanding awareness of relevant social and economic issues; a lobbying organization to effect political change related to women’s, minority, and social issues; an institutional resource to prompt women’s professional and public visibility, fostering better understanding of their roles and contributing to the building of a feminist practice.

But the question remains — can such an organization strike a balance between its role as a special interest group serving the needs of its membership and the obligation to become an effective participant in the public realm – uniting the efforts of professionals in community service?

Christine Cinciripini

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